Edit, 1 p.m.: About five minutes after I posted this and left Harbor Yard, the Islanders announced they’ve sent Christopher Gibson back to Bridgeport. Timing.
During what could be the last Sound Tigers practice of the year (edit: here, anyway; they’ll skate tomorrow in Toronto), arena staffers were cleaning the glass from the other side. Getting it ready for the next game, one of them shouted. As the team stretched at the end, he yelled, “we’re going to the second round!”
Confidence is good.
So 14 forwards and eight defensemen today. Matt Finn, said Brent Thompson, skated earlier, and his injury might not be as bad as initially feared. He’s seeing doctors today, and Thompson hopes he’ll be able to make the trip when they fly tomorrow.
Flying in the other direction today is James Wright. (“Who?” Thompson said when I mentioned getting the word at 8 p.m. last night. “We don’t have anybody named Wright here.”) “A number of guys are playing well. He’s one of those guys who have that NHL experience,” Thompson said. “He’s playing well. It’s a great opportunity. Hopefully he’ll help the Islanders.”
No line remained intact today. Sebastian Collberg, who’s had a couple of good games (story one of these next couple of days) went into Wright’s spot. It looks like Anthony Greco gets in; skated with college teammate Tanner Fritz and Connor Jones.
There is still a lot of confidence here. The odds may be stacked against them, but they feel like they can play with the Marlies. “We can’t make mistakes,” Patrick Cullity said. “They’re obviously offensively gifted. They like to control the play. They don’t like to get hit. They take advantage of their scoring opportunities.”
Elsewhere, two series resume tonight, and both could end. Albany goes for the sweep in Utica; Grand Rapids comes home to try to finish off Milwaukee.
Glad I didn’t mute all the video-game-cover tweets and hashtags just yet.
And boy, bringing in Dan Boyle was a fantastic move for the Rangers.